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  • Writer's pictureDavid at Homes & Order

More Than Just Chicago Home Inspections

At Homes and Order we provide property inspections in Chicago for single-family, condo, and multi-family properties. A typical home inspection involves inspecting the main systems of a home including the exterior, roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical, and more.

In addition to our home inspections, we provide additional speciality inspections for our clients. This way as a home buyer, you are armed with the most knowledge possible to go back to the negotiation table with the seller or to prepare yourself for any major projects at hand.

Sewer Inspections in Chicago

Sewers are vital part of the home as they transfer our everyday waste to the city's sewer line and if repairs are needed it can be costly to the homeowner.

Chicago Sewer Scans

A sewer inspection involves your inspector accessing a clean-out usually located inside the home in the basement area. Using a specialized camera, we examine the sewer line looking for several issues. Some examples are below:

  • Pipe belly formation – When a building settles it can cause pipes to become bowed and buckled. This forms a bely where water and waste can accumulate. This impacts the efficiency of pipework to direct water from the sewer line.

  • Clogging – Over decades of use sewer pipes can get clogged from soap scum, foreign objects. wet wipes, and other debris.

  • Tree root intrusion – Having a front yard with big old trees looks terrific. However, trees can eventually penetrate sewer lines, causing sewage to back up.

  • Old Pipes – In Chicago, many of our homes are quite old and clay or cast iron pipe was often used to connect to the city's sewer. Clay pipe has a rated lifespan of about 50 years and cast iron has a lifespan of roughly 70 years. If your old property still has its original line, you may be due for a replacement.

  • Bad repairs – Not every repair job was done property. Unlicensed and unpermmited work is not uncommon in our area.

Radon Testing in Chicago

Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the United States. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and gets into the air you breathe.

Chicago Radon

Longterm radon exposure is dangerous. After cigarette exposure, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the country with an estimated 22,000 deaths a year.

Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home can trap radon inside. Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. In fact, you and your family are most likely to get your greatest radiation exposure at home. That is where you spend most of your time.

In Illinois, high radon levels in the home are quite common. The EPA recommends that every home in Illinois be tested for radon and if levels of 4.0 pCi/L are observed a radon mitigation system is installed. In fact, since 2013 all new construction in the state requires a radon mitigation system. If a system is installed, it should be tested on every two year basis.

For many years, misinformation about radon levels in Chicago have been thrown around. It was often said "Radon isn't an issue in Chicago." Quite simply it's not true. The University of Chicago has gathered data and there are several hot spots in the city with elevated radon levels. In fact, block to block, house to house, radon levels can be drastically different.

Chicagoland Radon Testing

Chicago Radon Testing

A proper radon test involves a 48 hour measurement of the property. At least two radon monitor devices are dropped off at the property and they take samples of radon levels over that time period. At the end of 48 hours we pickup the monitors and we analyze the results. A report is then generated with the levels of radon observed in that time frame. This will provide you with valuable information about that will help your home buying decision.

Mold Testing in Chicago

Mold is a byproduct of the breakdown of organic matter, such as plants, wood, and even food and certain beverages. The problem posed to humans by mold is their spores, which can be released into the air and land on damp surfaces indoors, where they will continue to grow, if the conditions are right. Mold growth left unaddressed can quickly spread and result in damage to the structure of a home. More importantly, mold can compromise the respiratory health of susceptible individuals.

Mold can happen in many places, usually where there is water. Plumbing leaks, windows, and HVAC components, are just some of the examples of where you might find mold. Purchasing a vacant home or recently remodeled property also harbors the potential for mold issues.

Homes and Order offers two types of mold testing:

  • Indoor Air Quality Testing - Using specialized equipment we collect air samples at various points in the home. We then overnight the samples to a lab where they analyze the samples for various molds and fungi that were present.

  • Surface Testing - If your inspector comes across a mold-like substance, there is. no way to 100% determine if that substance is mold without a lab result. When we run into this situation, we take a sample of the surface and send it to our lab to determine if the area is infected with mold and what type of mold was observed.


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